The following is also on my dA, "oozu". Just so it's clear that nothing was stolen. This was written for my beloved Madao 3 He needs more love ; A ; I'd say this is a combination tribute/fanfic. :D
I do not own Gintama, I am not Hideaki Sorachi. I am not profiting from this in any way, and suing me would only make me a Madao. I have no desire to become a Madao.
Madao are the Human Strays
The lucky men- bundled in heavy, tattered coats shuffled around impatiently. Their faces were worn with fatigue. Each wrinkle that lined their faces portrayed a hardship. In the outskirts of the group, warm coats became scarce. Most men out there were dressed simply or in layers of rags. Cruel, thick clouds reigned the sky above. Rain pounded heavily upon them. All- cold or not- shivered. Hunger clung to their faces and barren stomachs. The cold stench of alcohol permeated their surroundings. Cheap alcohol swirled in their mouths and their bottles.
All had experienced soul-crushing disappointments and failures. All were soul-crushing disappointments and failures.
Most kept their faces blank, or stoic, and gruff. Few allowed their despair and grief show itself. Of the twenty or so men, one did. His face was painfully contorted, and tears lightly streamed down his face. He seemed at the end of boulder, ready to leap. His rough bench-bed was cold. He was scantly dressed, and filth clung to him. The others noticed him gradually, and their strength left them. Sad looks painted their scruffy faces.
They all waited. Waited, and waited. Sat around the deserted aged park, patiently. No where to go, no where to be, no one to see. As the morning dragged on, a peasant woman rolled a covered cart toward the group. She was accompanied and assisted by several threadbare children. They wheeled it toward the center of the group, and removed the old, patched cloth cover. Within the splintery cart were several bamboo rice cookers, hot and warm from laying over a fire and heating and softening rice.
The woman had few material possessions, and there were times in which she had difficulty feeding even her children. She wandered Kabukichou, frequenting areas of generosity while her husband picked up laborious jobs around town. There were times that her husband could not find work, and there were times in which no one donated to her. The bellies of her children spent empty nights those days. The men with nowhere to be, and no one to see handed them pieces of miscellaneous snacks those days. The childrens' hunger was sated. The woman always refused sustenance when the men offered it. She felt she had more than those men. She was not wrong.
She had a husband and children who loved her that she loved. She had others who cared for her. If the worst came to be, she could slip into the monks' women's shelter for a bowl of rice to give her children. The same could not be said of the men.
Workless, worthless, these men lacked anyone who cared. There were no shelters for them. Cast out from society for failing to provide, for failing to be like others... but there was at least a handful of people did care: the woman, her husband, and their children.
When her husband found ample work he could not handle himself, he invited the most reliable of the cast off men to help. When the woman chanced upon a generous donation, she shared. When the weather got too cruel, she invited all of them to stay in her run-down, tiny home. They never did, but immensely appreciated the thought.
The previous evening she'd received a shockingly generous amount of rice from two sources: Otose's Snack House, and the Host Club. Catharine had quickly placed the raw rice near the trash collection, as the woman wandered close. Otose smiled to her from the window. The Host Club had received a sack of rice instead of their usual sweets from their supplier. Having no use for it, a kitchen hand snuck out the sack to the woman as she made her rounds. She'd returned to her home and quickly cooked all through the night on the family fireplace. Her children collected firewood to sell, and their unsold remnants earlier that day fed the fire.
Cracked bowls were passed around, heaped with warm rice. The woman served each one equally, with her only wooden serving spoon. The men dug in, rudely, loudly, chugging the rice down. Quickly, they finished. One by one the hungrily cleaned bowls were passed, down to the cart. The men dispersed, heading off for various dank corners of the city.
The woman, scolding them for their rudeness and for passing her dirty, used plates, stacked them all upon the cart with the help of her rambunctious children and pushed it back to her splintery home.
As dawn approached, the woman awoke and shuffled from the warmth of her blankets. She stumbled to the sooty fireplace and started a fire. Shivering in her patchwork yukata, she warmed her hands with the tiny fire that sprung. Her husband rolled out of bed, his loud yawns awakening the children. She stepped toward the door, opening it slowly to to bring in some twilight-dried clothing. The worn front, only step held bundles of twigs and chunks of salvaged wood. Alongside the bundles, two beers of moderate quality glistened. She retrieved the bundles and beers, pausing before placing them anywhere to inform her children: "You can sleep in today.", as a smile graced her worn face.
Thank you for reading, reviews would be immensely appreciated.